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The Script Lab
TSL Free Screenplay Contest
2020
A free competition to find the best writers, regardless of financial need. Winners receive exposure to a strong industry jury along with cash prizes.
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About

The Script Lab and Coverfly are offering this FREE screenplay competition to help open talent-discovery to anyone and everyone, regardless of financial ability. This contest is open to feature, TV and short screenplays. Scripts must be in English and formatted with industry-standard screenwriting software.

First impressions are important: For this free competition, all scripts will receive an initial first impression read, consisting of just the first few pages of each script. Your first few pages are especially important because many readers at studios and agencies make a decision about a script based on the first few pages. Please enter your full screenplay, because the screenplays that advance to subsequent rounds will receive full evaluations from our judges.

2-3 pages of optional feedback from a professional screenplay reader is available for a small fee with your free competition entry. Highly recommended if you want to see how we rate your script based on our many years of experience evaluating screenplays for TSL Notes service.

Benefits

Along with cash prizes for the top 3 winners, the top scripts will be read by an esteemed industry jury:

Adrian Garcia, Recon Literary

Adrian previously worked as an agent in the motion picture department at Paradigm Talent Agency, playing an instrumental role in packaging multi-million dollar projects. He has since left to start his own management company, Recon Literary, where he reps television and feature writers with network credits.

Andrea Dimity, Pannon Entertainment

Andrea Dimity is a film producer and literary manager based in Los Angeles. She started working in the entertainment industry while attending the UCLA School of Theatre, Film and Television. Since then she has worked for such prolific producers and directors as Lorenzo di Bonaventura, Todd Phillips and Chris Meladandri in feature film development.

Patrick White, Lit Entertainment Group

Patrick is a literary coordinator at the recently-formed Lit Entertainment Group, a management company headed by veteran rep and producer, Adam Kolbrenner, formerly of Madhouse Entertainment. Their clients’ recent credits have included the films Prisoners and Christmas Chronicles, and the ABC series, Designated Survivor.

Mike Carrier

Mike is the host of Outsmarted at BuzzFeedVideo, a comedy writer, actor, and producer featured in Slamdance, Austin Film Festival, DreamworksTV, and McSweeneys. 

William Deasey, Zero Gravity Management

Will is a creative executive at Zero Gravity Managment, the company that produces the TV series OZARK.

Are you our next success story?

After finishing in 2nd place in last year's TSL Free Contest with her one hour pilot PINEY RIDGE, La’s Chris Jordan signed with her manager at Circle of Confusion through Coverfly. “Industry leaders and other creatives were able to read my work and because of the exposure, I now have a wonderful literary manager who has skyrocketed my career.”

2020 Winner on Coverfly

See Other Placements

Announcements

Aug 12th
Semifinalists
Sep 2nd
Finalists
Sep 30th
Winners

Rules

RULES:
  • Only one submission per writer is allowed. Any other submissions will be disregarded.
  • Submissions are accepted via electronic submission only and must be entered by the final deadline.
  • Optional paid feedback from a professional reader may be requested at the time of entry for a reader analysis fee.
  • Feature screenplays must be a minimum of 70 pages and a maximum of 140 pages.
  • TV pilots must be a minimum of 15 pages and a maximum of 70 pages.
  • Short scripts must be a minimum of 1 page and a maximum of 40 pages.
  • Entries must be received on or before the deadline dates by 11:59 PM Pacific Time.
  • All submitted material must be original, and all rights must be wholly owned by the writer(s).
  • Material must be submitted by the writer. Material written by writing teams must be submitted by one of the writers, with consent of the other(s). All writers must be credited on title page.
  • If a writing team is chosen as a winner, prizes will be given to the person who submitted the project. Each team is responsible for dividing or sharing the prize money.
  • Substitutions of either corrected pages or new drafts of the entered material will be allowed for a limited time with a $5 re-entry fee through Coverfly. Please proofread your script carefully before submitting.
  • It is recommended that original material be registered with the WGA or Copyright Registration with The Library of Congress before submitting to any competition, however, we do not require registration.
  • Your contact info may be included on the cover page of the screenplay, however, it is not required.
  • All ownership and rights to the scripts submitted to this contest remain with the original rights holders.
ELIGIBILITY:
  • All writers at least 18 years of age are eligible.
  • All persons from anywhere in the world are eligible; however, the material submitted must be in English (occasional dialogue in other languages is acceptable, if subtitle translation is provided).
  • All material submitted to other competitions or contests is eligible for this contest.
  • There are no requirements as to when the material was written.
  • Screenplay and intellectual property must be wholly owned and submitted by the writer(s).
  • Material should be submitted in standard screenplay format, font, spacing and margin.
  • We have no preferences regarding title page content. Title and name of writer would suffice.
  • Entries for this competition are managed on the submission platform Coverfly.
  • Adaptations are ineligible unless the underlying rights are owned by the writer or the work is in the public domain.
  • Feature screenplays longer than 140 pages will not be eligible.
  • All material must be submitted electronically as a PDF or it will not be eligible.

The winners will be chosen based on internal criteria for excellent writing including, but not limited to, craft, character, plot, originality, and dialogue. The winners and top finalists may be contacted by interested industry representatives, such as managers, agents or producers. Entrants may be required to submit further information to assist in the judges’ verification of eligibility. Any entrant may be deemed ineligible at the sole discretion of The Script Lab. Finalists may be required to sign and return within seven (7) business days of receipt a notarized Affidavit of Eligibility and a Release and Indemnification and proof of valid passport and any other documents that The Script Lab or any other partner may require before receiving prize payment. Failure to respond to the initial notification within ten (10) days or return of notification will result in disqualification. We reserve the right to amend these rules at any time.

COPYRIGHT AND OWNERSHIP

The Script Lab or any other partner, employee or agent associated with this contest claims no ownership nor first right of option to any original screenplay submitted to this contest. All ownership and rights to the scripts submitted to this contest remain with the original rights holders until and unless other agreements are made.

PUBLICITY

Except where prohibited by law, participation in the contest constitutes each entrant’s consent to The Script Lab and its agents’ and contest sponsor’s use of entrants’ names, likenesses, photographs, and/or personal information for promotional purposes in any media, worldwide, without further payment or consideration. All uses of all entrants’ information are in accordance with our Privacy Policy.

REFUND POLICY

All entries are non-refundable.

ENTRY CONDITIONS AND RELEASE

BY ENTERING THE CONTEST YOU ACKNOWLEDGE THAT YOU HAVE READ AND AGREE TO THESE CONDITIONS. You agree to release and hold harmless The Script Lab, Red Ampersand Inc, Industry Arts LLC, its subsidiary, parent and affiliated companies, Prize contributors, judges, screenplay readers, Sponsors, and any other organizations responsible for administering, advertising or promoting the Contest, and every one of their respective members, directors, employees, agents and representatives (collectively, the “Released Parties”) past and present from and against any and all claims, expenses, and liability, including but not limited to damages and negligence to property and persons, including but not limited to invasion of privacy, defamation, slander, libel, violation of right of publicity, copyright, infringement of trademark or other intellectual property rights relating to a participant’s Entry, participation in the Contest and/or acceptance or use or misuse of Prize; provided however, that such release will not apply to any commercial exploitation of the script by a Released Party in violation of your rights under applicable copyright law; and (c) indemnify, defend and hold harmless The Script Lab and its Sponsor, agents and employees from and against any and all claims, expenses, and liabilities (including reasonable attorneys fees) relating to an entrant’s participation in the Contest and/or entrant’s use or misuse of Prize. Employees of The Script Lab and their immediate families are ineligible to participate in this contest. Any such submission will be immediately disqualified. ENTRY TO THIS CONTEST IS VOID WHERE PROHIBITED or restricted by any Federal, State or Local law. Voided entries will be refunded. Recipients’ eligibility will be verified before the grant is awarded and the winner may be required to sign an affidavit of eligibility. By entering the contest, you authorize us to use any trusted third-party online and cloud-based services and databases for hosting, managing and/or transmitting your submission file(s).